On Wednesday, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore hosted a lecture by historian Joseph Scalice explaining the role of the Communist Party of the Philippines in propping up the brutal regime of Philippines strongman Rodrigo Duterte.
The lecture, titled “First as tragedy, second as farce: Marcos, Duterte, and the Communist Parties of the Philippines,” is a devastating exposure of the duplicitous role of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), its founder and “theoretician” Jose Maria Sison and of the bankrupt perspective of Stalinism and Maoism on which they are based.
It demonstrates, through a detailed examination of contemporaneous source material, the political continuity between the CPP’s support for fascistic Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 and the endorsement of the Marcos dictatorship by an earlier Communist Party.
In the days before the lecture, Sison launched a slanderous attack on Scalice, branding him, without a shred of evidence, as a CIA agent. On August 25, the day prior to the lecture, the CPP devoted a special edition of its newspaper Ang Bayan to an interview with Sison entitled “Critique of the Trotskyite attacks on the CPP and the Philippine revolution,” which repeated his lies against Scalice, again without any substantiation.
In opening his lecture, Scalice systematically demolishes Sison’s bald declaration that it was a big lie that “the CPP was the enabler and supporter of Duterte.” Scalice provides irrefutable proof in the form of photos and quotes from Sison, the CPP and its associated front organisations of their close collaboration with the fascistic president and his war on drugs. His lecture explains why, based on an examination of its Maoist ideology, the CPP has promoted figures like Duterte as representatives of the “progressive bourgeoisie,” which invariably turn on the working class and peasantry.
The lecture was attended by a wide audience from around the world, including leading academics, journalists and the broad public. There were participants from the United States, Europe, Australia, and throughout much of Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, and a very significant number from the Philippines. The participants engaged actively with the lecture, posing over one hundred questions in the chat forum.
After the lecture, public discussion continued on social media where people posted responses to Scalice’s presentation. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. “I was blown away by the lecture,” one wrote. “I watched, riveted. So many revelations. Deep research,” posted another. The presentation was termed “blistering!” and “an intense talk, immensely packed with historical information.” One commenter thanked Scalice for his “brave and earthshaking presentation.”
Scalice’s lecture concludes with an impassioned appeal for historic truth under conditions in which historical falsifications are being used in countries around the world for reactionary ends. The lecture deserves to be widely distributed and studied as an introduction to the pernicious role played by Stalinism and its Chinese variant, Maoism, over the last century. We encourage our readers to share the link to the lecture as widely as possible through social media and other means.